for piano, percussion and pulsars (electronics)

Patrick Nunn

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for piano, percussion and pulsars (electronics)

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Composer Patrick Nunn
Year of Composition 2010
Duration ca.6'
Categories (all composers) , , , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-pn1i1


The title comes from the Greek iso (equal) and chronos (time) and refers, in this context, to the regular periods of electromagnetic radiation that is emitted from rotating neutron stars known as Pulsars. This beam of radiation can be detected on earth (similarly to the beam emitted from a lighthouse) with observed periods ranging from 1.4 milliseconds to 8.5 seconds. When translated into audio signals, these pulses produce a gamut of sounds from regularly spaced clicks to audible tones.

Isochronous explores a sonic environment created from scientific recordings of these pulsars in a confluent dialogue with percussive and piano sounds; the live musicians acting out a terrestrial ‘response’ as it were. Although the two elements of recordings and live material are intended to blend sonically, they are marked apart by their regular and irregular characteristics; each pulsar is fixed and regular in tone or tempi (extraterrestrial) whereas the percussion and piano material is imbued with a greater sense of irregularity and independence (terrestrial).

The listener is encouraged to close their eyes during the performance to fully experience the sounds without visual distraction.

Audio excerpt taken from the album Morphosis by Patrick Nunn available at Red Sock Records.

Artists – Matthew Schellhorn (pf), Sarah Mason (perc), Patrick Nunn (elec).

Audio © 2015 Red Sock Records

Performance of this work requires additional media. Due to file size, these will be delivered via file transfer service upon purchase of the work. If you do not receive these additional files, please contact Composers Edition.